It’s Travel Tip Tuesday! Every Tuesday I will post a travel tip related to traveling with babies, toddlers, and small children. Readers are encouraged to reply with their own travel tips by commenting or via email for posting. Travel tips can be anecdotes, lessons learned, funny stories, or a photo that captures it all as long as it’s related to traveling with babies and small children.
My baby loves music. Most babies and little children can be enlivened, brightened, and distracted by their favorite tunes. There have been many times that my baby has gone from tears to smiles, giggles, and hand clapping with the press of the play button on my ipod.
I have had 10 hour layovers in airports where walking around looking at stuff and people has lost its thrill for baby, I’m too tired to move, and baby barely notices her toys. My baby also detests being strapped down to anything, especially strapped into a car seat. Sometimes she repeatedly pumps out her chest so hard, as if bursting through the 5-point safety harness Incredible Hulk-style accompanied with a low-pitched grunt. I dread long road trips (E.g. five hours on the road from Johannesburg airport to Ladybrand, South Africa).
I struggled for a while to figure out how to bring Veda’s favorite tunes (she especially loves Elizabeth Mitchell and Frances England, as do I) wherever we went. I burned some of my downloaded MP3s onto CDs in case whatever rental car we might be in had a CD player, and delighted if the car had an ipod adapter. I attempted putting headphones over her ears (unsuccessfully). This still didn’t provide me with music options on the go, like sitting in airports for hours.
Enter the magic of ipod + portable speaker. I found this absolutely amazing little speaker for about $20. It has been a lifesaver. It has a short ipod adapter that plugs directly into the adapter. It’s not fancy- the only switch is on/off. Volume is controlled through the ipod, and it has surprisingly good sound (it’s no Bose home theatre system, of course, with bumping bass). It’s super tiny (the size of a flat small apple or muffin) and extremely light. It’s also rechargeable (no batteries to worry about) and can be charged on a laptop/ computer with a USB charger and the charge lasts as long as my ipod does.
This has meant that I’ve been able to sit on the floor of an airport and listen (with a respectable volume) to her favorite music. It’s instant joy on the go. Of course you can always just memorize and sing all of baby’s favorites, but there’s something about the instrumentals that really gets mine going. My portable speaker and ipod have truly saved my sanity and instilled instant peace and joy with baby on long road trips and layovers (not to mention picnics at the park and stroller rides at home).
Word to the wise: don’t let baby play with the speaker- like headphones, if the connecting chord gets to much abuse it ends up busted and needing to be replaced (based on my experience).